Coaching a Color Guard team sounds easy if you donít know much about the sport, but in reality itís much more difficult than it seems. Color Guard is an intensive sport; it requires hours of practice a day, costuming and theming, choreography, gymnastics and prop work. These are all aspects of a good routine, and itís the coachís job to plan and implement all of it. It doesnít have to be all stress, though. Here are a few tricks to help you flesh out your programs. Hire Help You canít do everything by yourself. Find co-coaches that can help you run practices and people that are skilled in choreography and costume design. If you donít have prior experience in Color Guard, itís a great idea to find someone who does! Use Your Resources There are national Guard circuits that you can reach out to. They offer spin camps and mentor programs. Most of these circuits have websites and social media that you can follow for information ó the internet will always be your biggest resource. You can also find training help and professional performances for free on Youtube. Find Your Teamís Strengths Donít expect beginners to pull off professional moves, but at the same time, keep an eye on individual strengths and weaknesses. You may have people in your Guard that can tumble or do difficult tosses and turns. Incorporate these strengths into your routines, and build up their core skills over time for even better performances. Team Bonding As with any team, itís important for your Color Guard to have good chemistry. One of the most rewarding parts of being in Color Guard is the family that comes out of it. Between constant training, traveling, and performing, itís easy to form friendships. You can encourage bonding by spending time before or after practices hanging out, as well as planning group activities. Picking the Right Costumes Picking costumes can be challenging, especially if youíre trying to fit a theme or stay in a budget. Keeping in mind color coordination or symbolism, you can ask a few basic questions: will it look good on all body types, will it fit in the budget, and will it help or hinder movement in the performance. Choreography When choreographing for your team, youíre probably going to either be using the school bandís songs or picking your own song for a performance or competition. With any choreography, however, aim for three basic audience impacts ó visual, emotional and intellectual. Aim for a particular aesthetic. Figure out what you want the audience to feel, and apply it to the music in precise, innovative ways. While being a Color Guard coach is certainly a challenging job, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both for you and your team! To find equipment like sabres and batons to get your team started, check out our website!